RDF work and backwards compat

Benjamin Smedberg benjamin at smedbergs.us
Tue, 01 Nov 2005 08:35:24 -0500

Axel Hecht wrote:

> Actually, I'd argue the other way around. The History and Bookmarks 
> overhaul is getting us much closer to Aurora (take a smiling look at 
> http://www.mozilla.org/xpapps/aurora/) than we have been for about half 
> a decade. And that was actually the reason for Netscape to implement RDF 
> in the first place, AFAICT. I'm seeing quite a few APIs floating around 
> on wiki.m.o to add metadata to URLs, and they're not really a lot 
> simpler than the RDF apis as of now.

But you're confusing the *UI* of integration with the *implementation* of 
integration. RDF has no significant place in the new bookmarks and history 
integration. I think that rather than supporting a technology which was 
never meant for the web browser, we should be looking towards microformats 
and other technologies for data presentation and integration which have 
real-world applications right now.

> If you take a look at http://wiki.mozilla.org/Annotations,
> nsIVariant getAnnotation(in nsIURI aURI, in wstring aName);
> with a namespaced string for the name is just RDF. We may not call it 
> that way, but that doesn't change what it is. 
> (http://wiki.mozilla.org/Bookmarks_Data_API is even more involved, I 
> tried to understand it, I should try again.)

This is the exact problem with RDF: *everything* could be RDF (a combination 
of data-triples) if you work hard enough. But it's really not worth it to 
work that hard.

Aurora was a nice pipedream, as is RDF. Instead of trying to integrate an 
unbounded set of possible data, let's work on integrating and presenting a 
bounded set (history/bookmarks) of data that we know is valuable to the user.